On Monday, Adams County became the first county in Mississippi to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21-years-old.
However, the impact is somewhat limited, as the change does not apply within cities inside the county, much like the increase that was approved in Santa Clara County, Calif. in June 2015, as state law allows cities to have final say in such matters, according to the Natchez Democrat. The county has forwarded a copy of the new law to Natchez city leaders with the hope that they will adopt the same increase in the county’s largest city.
It will be the individual retail salespeople who will bear the burden of the increase, as they are subject to a fine of $500 and a 30-day ban of employment at a tobacco retailer should they sell to a person under 21 years of age. Second and subsequent violations carry a $1,000 fine and a 90-day ban.
Adams County is located in the southwest corner of the state with an estimated population of 32,000 people.